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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Internal search process for new Provost continues

The search for Macalester’s next Provost has officially begun, and the search is being limited to internal candidates. Over the past two weeks, President Brian Rosenberg and his staff have been accepting applications for Macalester’s next provost from current faculty. A smaller pool of applicants will be selected from those and will have another two weeks to apply, after which point the committee will make a hiring decision.

It is likely that the position will be a renewable three-year appointment, so that the provost may return to their department as a professor. During the new provost’s appointment, Macalester will grant a three-year contract to a new faculty member, who may or may not stay on at Macalester in the future. Rosenberg came to Macalester in 2003. Since then, there have been two other provost searches, both of which were external. This marked the first time in Macalester’s history that a provost was chosen from outside the faculty.

Rosenberg chose to make the search internal because of the amount of turnover of the senior staff over the last few years. That turnover includes a new Chief Investment Office, a new Vice President for Advancement and a new Vice President of Student Affairs, which the administration is still searching for. Having a provost that is familiar with Macalester and “can get on the ground” to help with the transition of other new administrators should ideally provide continuity within the administration, Rosenberg explained.

“I think it’s very important for the faculty, especially with an internal candidate, to see the provost as someone who embodies ‘the best of them,’” Rosenberg said. “So I would look for someone who’s had some leadership experience.” Leadership experience can include serving as department chair or chair of a major committee, as these individuals may be more likely to provide “intellectual leadership” to the faculty and a vision for the academic direction of the college.

When asked about his commitment to diversity within Macalester’s senior staff, particularly with regards to race and gender, Rosenberg said there would be “a lot of attention” paid to the matter and acknowledged the importance of his staff’s makeup, although there does not appear to be a specific diversity-based policy or method with which applicants will be examined.

“You draw these lists and it sounds like Superwoman or Superman, and there’s no one who steps into the job with all the characteristics,” Rosenberg said. “But [leadership skills and a knowledge of Macalester] are generally the things that you look for, someone who has the ability to think about the whole college.”

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